November 23, 2008

It’s very windy on site, strong gales. Our gazebo is under was only there as a prop anyway…so we’ve been brainstorming ideas on building shelters.

Tomorrow we’re off on the road to stock up with materials, donated and found on the streets….poles, tarps, palettes, corrugated sheets, rope,windows, fallen lamposts etc etc

This is kens idea for a sturdy weatherproof hut that has the potential to be dismantled and taken on the road again.

“I’ve been thinking about the shelter and would like to propose an idea for you to discuss with your carpenter friend.

I have found in my workshop a thing called a Fast Framer Kit


It’s a series of angle brackets which allow you to quickly make up shed frames without unnecessary cutting of the timber.

I was going to use it for my workshop, but its surplus to requirements now.

This kit uses standard size studwork timber 38mm x 89mm which you can get from Wickes in 2.4m lengths at £3 a length


Each frame would use 4 standard lengths of stud timber, 2 uprights and 2 rafters , and I have enough brackets to make 8 frames. We would need some lighter timber to make the “ceiling” joists – which tie the 2 uprights togetherpossibly the 2×2 that you already have. There are then some horizontals (4 off) and some extra timbers to close in the farthest end from the horsebox.

If we space the 8 frames every 600mm (2′) this will give us a maximum length of 4.8m or 16′. The width will be roughly 4m or very close to what we need to match the long side wall of the horse box.

The apex of the roof will be roughly in line with the top canopy of the horse box.

Each section of the “hut” will need 4 sheets of Sterling board, 2 for the walls and 2 for the roof.

The outer cladding could be exterior grade plywood which is 6mm thick and will tolerate the rain – but really ought to be painted or treated. (if you don’t paint it it quickly deteriorates and makes your hut look like an old packing case) It’s the lowest cost exterior cladding option and at £11 per sheet you would need 10 or 11 sheets.


Each section can be made as an identical unit, so you can dismantle it easily later and stack the sections in the horsebox for transporting to future sites. As each panel costs about £25 to £30 in new materials – you could get friends and family to sponsor their own panel and come and help make it! Each panel could be sold as a “canvas” for them to paint their own mural or theme.

Here’s an estimate of what would be needed for the 4m x 4.8m hut with approximate costs (fromWickes)

40 lengths 38 x 88 x 2.4m @ £2.98 £119.20
20 sheets 2400 x 1200 11mm OSB (Sterling) @ £9.99 £199.80
11 sheets 6mm exterior plywood @ £11.00 £132.00
Tarpaulins 4m x 4m 2 needed for roof covering
35mm woodscrews (bulk pack)
Paint or exterior woodstain
16 Pallets to make raised floor

So if you chose to use new materials, would be looking at a rough budget of £450 just for the basic structure. However as you have been offered 2nd hand Sterling board, there would be a saving to be made there.

This may be well beyond your budget, so it’s best to have an appreciation of the costs prior to embarking on one route or another.

Ken found example of of few marquees

I have also looked for 2nd hand marquees/tents on ebay and found this cook’s shelter, where 2 together would give you 12′ x 18′. I would be concerned about being under canvas during the worst of the winter weather.


And this marquee was typical.”


Let’s see what materials what we find in the next few days…

We’ll be back on site late afternoon tomorrow.

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